An Eastern box turtle should NEVER be relocated, or brought home as a pet. These precious animals are considered to be threatened and endangered, with the pet trade and personal “kidnapping” being among of their biggest risks. When handled, they experience extreme stress but don’t have the strength or speed to get away. Keeping aContinue reading “Leave Box Turtles Alone!”
Category Archives: Engandered TN Wildlife
Can I Kill a Snake on My Property in Tennessee?
Snakes— even the scary ones— are vital to the health of our ecosystem, and even to human beings. Fleas and ticks carried by rats are frequent carriers for human diseases such as Lyme disease and even plague. An ecosystem full of snakes has fewer rats, meaning fewer ticks, meaning fewer human infections. Snakes are alsoContinue reading “Can I Kill a Snake on My Property in Tennessee?”
Eastern Spotted Skunks Declining
Many people wouldn’t even recognize this little fellow as a skunk. Over time, the population of the Eastern spotted skunk has declined so much that many people are unaware of their existence, and they have been eradicated through much of their native range. The spotted skunk’s population first took a dive when it was over-trappedContinue reading “Eastern Spotted Skunks Declining”
What’s a Phoby Cat?
You might occasionally still hear older people refer to an animal called a “phoby cat.” This is due to an outbreak of rabies— formerly called hydrophobia— among Western spotted skunks in the 1800s. Unfortunately, the spotted skunk’s reputation as a rabies carrier led to a massive trend in over-hunting and over-trapping, the effects of whichContinue reading “What’s a Phoby Cat?”
Tennessee’s Endangered Indiana Bat
The Indiana bat, which lives here in Tennessee, has lost 50-95% of its population over the the last 70 years. The main cause of this crash was human disturbance of the largest caves where they were nesting. These critters are now federally protected, but still face serious threats because of white nose fungus (a deadlyContinue reading “Tennessee’s Endangered Indiana Bat”
Is a Red Wolf Just a Coywolf?
Many people have pushed to eliminate protections for red wolves— our native wolf, here in Tennessee— by positing that they are not actually an endangered species. These anti-wolf activists claim that there is no such animal as a red wolf, and that “red wolves” are simply a hybrid between coyotes and grey wolves. This, simplyContinue reading “Is a Red Wolf Just a Coywolf?”
The Endangered Red Wolf
Few animals are as controversial as the red wolf. Conservationists have attempted several times to reintroduce these beautiful, majestic, ecologically important animals back into parts of their native range, but misconceptions and fear— as well as coyote interbreeding and disease— have stalled progress in their recovery. Eliminating the red wolf did nothing to protect humansContinue reading “The Endangered Red Wolf”
Tennessee’s Otters Return
Most of my fellow Chattanoogans are familiar with these cuties, who are a popular attraction at the Tennessee Aquarium! The North American river otter is considered an indicator species, meaning that its presence (or absence) in an ecosystem is a major indicator of the health of the environment. As sensitive animals at the top ofContinue reading “Tennessee’s Otters Return”